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Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo. Photo: Jerry Holt/Star Tribune via Getty Images

The Minneapolis Police Department is withdrawing from police union contract negotiations as a first step to reforming the agency, Chief Medaria Arradondo announced Wednesday.

The big picture: Arradondo said the contract needs to be restructured to provide transparency and “flexibility for true reform.” A thorough review will examine protocols for critical incidents, use of force, and disciplining officers.

  • Arradondo said it is "debilitating" when the department has grounds to terminate officers, but a third party works to keep them on the street.
  • He also promised to implement new strategies to identify bad officers.

Why it matters: The news comes as lawmakers are grappling with the politics of police unions as they face pressure to reform the departments they serve. Union resistance has been one of the biggest roadblocks to implementing changes to policing.

  • It also comes days after a veto-proof majority of the Minneapolis City Council pledged to begin the process of dismantling the Minneapolis Police Department as it currently exists — though it's still unclear what will replace it.
  • Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey has said he does not support abolishing MPD, but has advocated for sweeping reforms and has blamed the police union for making it difficult to discipline and terminate officers.

What they're saying: “We will have a police department that our communities view as legitimate, trusting and working with their best interests at heart,” Arradondo said.

  • “This is about examining those significant matters that touch on things such as critical incident protocol, use of force, the significant role that supervisors play in this department, and also the discipline process to include both grievances and arbitration.”

Go deeper: Democrats face the changing politics of police unions

Go deeper

Harris rebukes Barr: "We do have two systems of justice in America"

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) pushed back on Attorney General Bill Barr's assertion on CNN that there are not two systems of justice in America, arguing that he and President Trump "are spending full time in a different reality."

Why it matters: The question of whether there is "systemic racism" in policing and criminal justice is a clear, dividing line between Democrats and the Trump administration.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
3 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Key clean power provision likely won't survive in Dems' spending bill

A construction worker walks along a dirt road at the Avangrid Renewables La Joya wind farm in Encino, New Mexico, on Aug. 5, 2020. Photo: Cate Dingley/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A pillar of Democrats' plans to speed deployment of zero-carbon electricity is likely to be cut from major spending and tax legislation they are struggling to move on a party-line vote, per multiple reports and a Capitol Hill aide.

Driving the news: The New York Times, citing anonymous congressional aides and lobbyists, reports that West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin (D) has told the White House he "strongly opposes" the Clean Electricity Performance Program.

Updated 6 hours ago - World

Fatal stabbing of British MP David Amess declared a terrorist incident

Police outside Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea, England, on Oct. 15. Photo: John Keeble/Getty Images

Authorities have declared the death of David Amess a terrorist incident, hours after the Conservative Party lawmaker in the U.K. was fatally stabbed while meeting with local constituents in a church in eastern England on Friday.

The big picture: The Metropolitan Police has found "a potential motivation linked to Islamist extremism."